EDU-20024 - Education Matters: Contemporary Issues and Debates in Education
Coordinator: Peter Jones Tel: +44 1782 7 34869
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 5
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office:

Programme/Approved Electives for 2020/21


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2020/21

This module provides a detailed and critical overview of significant processes of educational change, and the thinking (political, ideological, and economic) behind them. All the issues covered in this module are of contemporary relevance and highlight the fundamental re-positioning of educational systems, structures and processes in society and economy. This module explores broad, ideological shifts in education over the past four decades, as well as examining how these translate into specific policy initiatives. It examines how the meaning, purposes and goals of education have changed over time and continue to do so. It also engages with the way in which educational values, ideologies and policies impact upon educational institutions and processes, and their effects on the experiences of those most closely involved, namely pupils, students, educators and managers.
Lectures include topics such as: Why Does Education Matter?; Education and the Economy; Education and Social Justice; Moral development and citizenship; and Raising the game: enhancing school effectiveness.

Education matters will introduce students to a range of contemporary philosophical issues and debates in education, and will examine the changing role of education in society and the economy.
The module encompasses five broad aims:
1) To introduce students to a range of key issues and debates surrounding education;
2) To explore ideological changes in education over time and their impacts on changing the overall aims, goals and purposes of education;
3) To examine the key policy changes and developments in education and how these are reflected in various government initiatives;
4) To examine the inter-relationship between educational institutions and other social institutions, namely the state and labour market;
5) To consider the impacts key educational changes have for educational organisations and the professionals and managers working in them.

Talis Aspire Reading List
Any reading lists will be provided by the start of the course.

Intended Learning Outcomes

  • Comment on key changes in the aims and purposes of education over recent decades will be achieved by assessments: 1, 2
  • Locate educational changes within wider cultural, social and economic contexts will be achieved by assessment: 1
  • Identify and discuss key debates and controversies in education will be achieved by assessments: 1, 2, 3
  • Identify and discuss underlying principles and aims behind the contemporary educational policy and practice will be achieved by assessments: 1, 2
  • Draw upon, a variety of theoretical resources on contemporary education practice and policy will be achieved by assessment: 1
  • Reflect upon the implications of contemporary educational issues for future professional role will be achieved by assessment: 1

Study hours

22 contact hours (10 hour lectures; 10 seminars & one 2 hour workshop on assessment)
50 hours lecture and seminar preparation including preparation for group presentations
18 hours private study
60 hours preparation for essay and review

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Seen Exam weighted 80%
An essay designed to explore one (or several) key issues and debates in education, and how it reflects changing goals.

2: Review weighted 20%
Critical Review of an educational policy.

3: Group Presentation weighted 0%
Formative group presentation on module themes.